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After NINE YEARS striving to be Irish PM, Micheál Martin has finally made it. What can we expect from this master of indecision?

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Ireland is known as the land of saints and scholars, but outgoing Irish Taoiseach (PM) Leo Varadkar definitely didn’t mean it as a compliment when he once likened his successor Micheál Martin to a priest.

During a bad-tempered parliamentary exchange last June, Varadkar – appointed Tánaiste (Deputy PM), at the weekend in the new grand coalition between his party Fine Gael, Martin’s party Fianna Fáil and the Greens – said, “The deputy reminds me of one of those parish priests who preaches from the altar, telling us to avoid sin while secretly going behind the altar and engaging in any amount of sin himself.”

The wisecrack was disingenuous, because there’s never been even a whiff of scandal about Martin during his 30-odd years in public life, unlike several of his predecessors.

The new high priest of Irish politics, in a certain unflattering light, often reminds me visually of an orc from ‘Lord of the Rings’. But while he’s definitely no baddie, the 59-year-old has suffered from the same personality traits as another Middle Earth fictional character, Gollum, in his desperate decade-long quest to become Irish PM. If he’d failed, he would’ve had the dubious honour of becoming the first ever Fianna Fáil party leader not to lead the country.

After mistakenly counting his chickens pre-election, it almost spectacularly backfired for Martin when Sinn Féin – tainted for generations by its association with the IRA – was, surprisingly, the clear winner of the February poll.

But Martin managed to save face by cobbling together an historic coalition with Fine Gael (FG), which is the first time........

© RT.com